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Essential Documents for New Hire Onboarding

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So you have chosen a new employee for a vacant position who will join the company in a few weeks. The hard work of advertising and interviewing is over - but with the addition of a new employee comes a lot more administrative work.

Onboarding involves much more than just orientation, although it is important to welcome the new employee and show them where to go. The induction documents are just as important for the process. So you can't afford to be sloppy with paperwork.

Read on to learn how important onboarding documents are. And find out how the right documents ensure a smooth implementation process.

Why the right documentation is important for accepting new employees

What are onboarding documents? These are all the documents related to a new employee joining your company, from legal forms to orientation information. They are one of the most important parts of a successful onboarding process. Employees who have a positive onboarding experience are three times more likely to feel strongly committed to their employer.

From a business perspective, onboarding documents ensure you meet legal and compliance requirements. Because the employee's information is on file, you can pay them on time and withhold the correct taxes. You can also be sure that the employee is allowed to work in your country.

For new employees, well-organized induction documents help them to be less afraid of starting a new job. They know what you expect from them and what services they will receive in return. They can focus on settling in, knowing all administrative tasks have been taken care of.

You show that you care about the employee by completing the paperwork. They show that you are a professional company committed to employee well-being and a positive company culture, thereby laying the foundation for a satisfied and productive workforce.

Through induction documentation you can give a good first impression, which is a key factor in retaining your new employees with the company. The costs of recruiting personnel are high. So once you've done the hard work of finding someone who's a good fit for the company, you need to be able to retain them.

It's better to create and share documents online than to use paper, especially when onboarding remotely. This allows you to use digital tools to create documents and obtain electronic signatures. Plus, you can store all paperwork in one place for quick and easy access.

9 onboarding documents you need for every new employee

So we know why hiring documents are so important for new employees. But what does an introductory package include? Here's a look at the documents you'll need for every new employee.


The employment contract is very important when hiring a new employee. It is a written agreement that explains the employee's job, his responsibilities and the amount of his compensation. It doesn't have to be long, but it should be clear and concise so that there are no misunderstandings.

A draft contract should be sent to new employees before they start work so that they have the opportunity to ask questions. You can then make changes if something is wrong or unclear. Both parties should keep a copy.

An employment contract should contain the following points:

  • Description of responsibilities
  • Expectations of the role
  • Agreed salary and social benefits
  • Place of employment
  • Length of employment
  • Vacation/sick leave pay
  • Non-compete or non-disclosure agreements
  • Notice period.

In contrast to the actual contract, this is the official job offer. The new employee must sign a copy of the letter to officially accept the position. The offer should contain these details:

  • Job title
  • Type of employment (full-time/part-time/flexible)
  • Short job description
  • Date of start of position
  • Starting salary
  • Eligibility for social benefits
  • Name of direct supervisor
  • Any conditions of employment.

Aspects such as benefits and conditions can be discussed in more detail in other recruitment documents, which we will discuss shortly.


In the United States, the W-4 form is a tax document that shows how much wages you must withhold for federal income tax. All new hires must complete it before receiving their first paycheck. You don't have to file Form W-4, but you must keep it. Depending on which state you operate in, your employees may also be required to complete a State Withholding Certificate.

If you are a global company with employees in different countries, you should familiarize yourself with relevant tax laws and use professional tax software to help you. For example, in the UK you will need a P45 form, which will be given to you by the new employee's previous employer. This determines the amount of taxes and social security to be withheld. In the US, you will need a signed Form W-4 for the same purpose.

As an employer, you must ensure that the newly hired employees are authorized to work in your country. Violations of the law are punishable by significant penalties. You must obtain certain documents from employees to prove their eligibility and verify their identity.

For example, you should request the following

  • Birth certificate/naturalization certificate
  • ID card/driving license/passport
  • Social Security Card/National Insurance Number
  • Work visa or green card
  • Immigration documents
  • All licenses required for the position.

U.S. citizens and non-citizens must also complete Form I-9 and return it to you within three days of starting work. You are not required to present it, but you must present it upon request when an immigration officer conducts a spot check.


You should have documentation explaining how and when your new employee will be paid. If your company transfers salary directly, you will need a form with the employee's bank details. You can also use this form to keep the bank details on file.

Once you receive the form, the HR department can enter the data into the payroll software. Not only should your software be able to process direct deposits, but it should also be able to generate payroll online. This allows employees to see that they have been paid on time and allows them to keep their own records.


Some paperwork must be completed and returned, but the employee handbook is intended for new employees. It contains all the information they need about your company so they can check it out instead of asking lots of questions.

The handbook should include rules for overtime, proper attire, use of company property, and workplace safety. It should also state how employees should behave and what happens if they break the rules. Provide further information on the regulations for time off, parental leave and continued payment of wages in the event of illness.

In the handbook you can explain what your company stands for and how it includes everyone. You can also show a picture of the company's organization so new employees know where they belong and who they can contact if they have any questions or problems.


Your new employee needs to know exactly what benefits are available to them, so you should start by providing them with a company benefits brochure. Maybe you offer health insurance, gym memberships, stock options, retirement plans or 401(k)s, or discounts at retailers.

Provide as many details as possible to make it easier for employees to decide what to choose. Inform them how to opt in or out. Then they can fill out the registration forms and agree to the terms of the service package.


Depending on the company, new employees may be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. This protects trade secrets by ensuring that employees do not share private information such as specialized knowledge or insider information about the company.

When an employee signs an NDA, they agree to keep our secrets, even if they resign. In addition, a non-compete agreement means that you are not allowed to work for a competitor or start a similar business for a certain period of time after you leave.


Show your new employees that you want to help them develop in their job. Let them know about the training they will receive. Inform them of regular meetings to discuss their progress. Also explain when they need to complete the training and how this can be combined with their regular work.

You can also explain the benefits of voluntary further training, e.g. a higher salary level for higher positions - and the company policy for tuition reimbursement. If you offer self-study materials, consider including links and descriptions in the document.

Ensure smooth onboarding of new employees with the right documents

The right documents are crucial to a smooth onboarding process, and completing administrative work quickly will help new employees gain a positive impression of the company. It's a good idea to create an onboarding checklist to ensure you don't forget any important documents.

In addition to the basic information for starting the employment relationship, such as: For documents such as employment law documents, tax forms, and direct deposit information, you must provide an employee handbook that explains the company culture, company policies, and benefits package. Make sure the new employee signs the relevant agreements, such as the offer letter and NDA.

There are many other things you can do to make new employees feel welcome, such as: by pairing them with an onboarding buddy or posting a welcome message on company social media. But the induction documents are the basis for a happy working relationship.

Investing in proper onboarding documents ensures a positive start for new hires. Don't overlook paperwork—it's the foundation of a successful integration. Streamline the process with IceHrm.

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